Western Colorado, What’s Beautiful, What’s Fun and What’s Just Unforgettable!
Few vacations on Earth can match Western Colorado for adventure, beauty, and romance. Hidden away on the other side of the continental divide you will find the other Colorado, the Colorado you have never heard of!
A Western Colorado vacation is filled with picture post-card villages, snowcapped peaks, alpine lakes, ancient sandstone cities, lush vineyards, and unforgettable vistas.
When most people think of Colorado, they like of snow and cold, but all that is in the high-country. There is another Colorado, warm welcoming Western Colorado.
You can enjoy skiing in the morning on The Grand Mesa and golf the afternoon at Grand Junction. It is all available within sixty miles.
If you don’t want to play in the snow, you can become an “Indiana Jones” and explore the ancient sandstone cities of Southwestern Colorado at Mesa Verde National Park. The park is the Archaeological Center of America.
By Tod Vandewalker
Just down the road you can try your hand at riding the rails into history on the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This historical Steam Train runs right though the a wilderness area. You see true wilderness from you coach window.
After the train adventure you can take in an old western melodrama at the famous Strater Hotel in Durango Colorado. Louis L’amour wrote many of his western novels in room 202 while listening to the sound of the honky tonk piano.
The next day you can journey over coal bank hill to Silverton Colorado, the western town that time forgot. You can see a reenactment of a cowboy gunfight put on by the Silverton Gun fighting Society.
If you prefer you can go deep in a gold mine and learn about the history of hard rock mining in the 1880’s. At the Old Hundred Gold Mine they will even show you how pan for gold. You may find a nugget.
Do you want to spend a romantic night in a railroad caboose? The Hyman Hotel in Silverton has a caboose transformed in to a cozy cabin for two in their seclude courtyard. It comes complete with fire pit and hot tub.
Just over the mountain is Ouray Colorado, “The Switzerland of the Rockies,” the most romantic rocky mountain village in America. No big hotels here, just small friendly lodges and B&Bs.
The Ute Indians believed that Ouray had “Big Medicine” in it many hot mineral springs scattered throughout the village. Try soaking in the waters and you decide.
While you are in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Western Colorado, history becomes real, when you explore the mines, mills and ghost towns in the backcountry. The backcountry is also full Alpine wildflowers and waterfalls, as well as, spectacular scenery.
The small hamlet of Ridgeway Colorado is “True Grit” country. It was Fort Smith in John Wayne’s western classic True Grit. You can still see the park and the jail house. The pappy wagon from the movie is in the open air railroad museum.
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, west of Montrose, is the newest national park. It is the home of a most spectacular narrow and deep canyon where the Gunnison River appears as a tiny ridden of silver 2000 feet below.
Upstream you are transport to a Norwegian fjord-like canyon on Morrow Point Reservoir. It is fascinating journey abroad the US Parks Service boat as it drift on the quite waters in the black canyon.
The largest flat top mountain in the world is the Grand Mesa. It has a secret known only to locals – it is the home of over 300 trout filled lakes nestled among a beautiful alpine forest. At 10, 500 feet it has the nickname, “Island in the Sky.”
Visit Colorado’s Wine Country concentrated around Palisade Colorado. Twenty Vineyards and wineries are located in this little valley makes touring easy and convenience. The tours here are less commercialized, laid-back and friendly.
The Colorado National Monument on the other side of The Grand Valley is an area of huge sandstone monoliths and deep eroded canyons. At sunset, it is very romantic as you watch nature’s light show in the lengthening shadows and then suddenly you see the twinkling lights of the city far below.
A Western Colorado vacation remains hidden away, out of the limelight, on the other side of the continental divide. But few vacations on earth can match Western Colorado for beauty, uncrowded adventures, and romance.
Tod Vandewalker is the editor of http://www.western-colorado-travel-secrets.com the independent Western Colorado Travel Guide. For more information on Western Colorado can be found at http://www.western-colorado-travel-secrets.com/colorado-tourist-attractions.html – Copyright – you may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remains intact.
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